Mount Merapi, Gunung Merapi (literally Fire Mountain in Indonesian/Javanese), is an activestratovolcano located on the border between Central Java and Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It is the most active volcano in Indonesia and has erupted regularly since 1548. It is located approximately 28 kilometres (17 mi) north of the large Yogyakarta city, and thousands of people live on the flanks of the volcano, with villages as high as 1,700 metres (5,600 ft) above sea level.
Smoke can be seen emerging from the mountaintop at least 300 days a year, and several eruptions have caused fatalities. Hot gas from a large explosion killed 27 people on 22 November in 1994, mostly in the town of Muntilan, west of the volcano. Another large eruption occurred in 2006, shortly before the Yogyakarta earthquake. In light of the hazards that Merapi poses to populated areas, it has been designated as one of the Decade Volcanoes.
On 25 October 2010 the Indonesian government raised the alert for Mount Merapi to its highest level and warned villagers in threatened areas to move to safer ground. People living within a 20 km (12 mi) zone were told to evacuate. Officials said about 500 volcanic earthquakes had been recorded on the mountain over the weekend of 23–24 October, and that the magma had risen to about 1 kilometre (3,300 ft) below the surface due to the seismic activity. On the afternoon of 25 October 2010 Mount Merapi erupted lava from its southern and southeastern slopes.
Java (Indonesian: Jawa) is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million (excluding the 3.6 million on the island of Madura which is administered as part of the provinces of Java), Java is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely-populated places on the globe. Java is the home of 60 percent of the Indonesian population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is located on western Java. Much of Indonesian history took place on Java. It was the center of powerful Hindu-Buddhist empires, the Islamic sultanates, and the core of the colonialDutch East Indies. Java was also the center of the Indonesian struggle for independence during the 1930s and 40s. Java dominates Indonesia politically, economically and culturally.
Formed mostly as the result of volcanic eruptions, Java is the 13th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in Indonesia. A chain of volcanic mountains forms an east-west spine along the island. It has three main languages, though Javanese is dominant, and it is the native language of about 60 million people in Indonesia, most of whom live on Java. Most of its residents are bilingual, with Indonesian as their first or second languages. While the majority of the people of Java are Muslim, Java has a diverse mixture of religious beliefs, ethnicities, and cultures.